by Object Type (2)
Skip to Content ☰ Open Filter >>

Royalty and Rulers

Showing 24 of 30

Chikanobu Yoshu, Japanese, (1838–1912)
Imperial Carriage in Procession Outside Palace Moat, c. 1890-1891
Ink on Paper
14 3/16 in. x 29 3/8 in. (36.04 cm x 74.61 cm)

Object Type: Print
Technique: Wood-block Printing
Period: Meiji (Japan, 1869-1912)
Credit Line: Purchased with funds from the Aoki Endowment for Japanese Arts and Cultures
Accession Number: 2004.1.44

Alternate Title: Teikoku gikai: Miyuki no zu

Fine impressions with gauffrage, burnishing and metallic pigments. Fine colors.

Signed: “Yoshu Chikanobu”

Colored ink on paper, with burnishinhg and metallic pigment; oban triptych.

Object Description
Riding in an elaborate carriage, the emperor and empress have departed the Tokyo Imperial Palace, seen beyond the moat and stone walls, via the recently constructed Niju bashi ("Double Bridge") that leads from the southeast side of the palace compound to the newly created Palace Plaza. Both vehicle and bridge were obvious symbols of the modernization process.

This British-made state carriage was specially built in 1889 with glass windows for the imperial couple to see and be seen, in contrast to the traditional oxcart draped with thick curtains that concealed the emperor. However, a carved gilt wood phoenix that surmounted the throne and imperial oxcart has been replicated on the new vehicle, and symbolic chrysanthemum and paulownia designs have been added to the carriage body and fabric hangings. Six matched horses are handled by attendants in Western livery; the middle of three uniformed outriders bears the imperial standard emblazoned with a stylized chrysanthemum. The carriage is preserved at the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo.

The shogun's castle grounds in Edo had been appropriated for the emperor's use, and a new palace completed by October 1888 on the site of the old Tokugawa compound. An area east and south of the enclosure was cleared of samurai barracks to create an open space where public ceremonies could be held. As an appropriate backdrop, a double arched stone bridge was built to connect an old gatehouse with the new plaza, and a single arch wrought iron bridge was constructed over the moat beyond it. The lower stone bridge is thought to have been designed in 1887 by Kawai Kozo, a student of the English architect Josiah Cinder, and fabricated by Japanese stonemasons. The iron bridge was designed by Wilhelm Heise, a German engineer, using imported German manufactured parts. Large cast bronze lampposts line both bridges, and were among the first examples of outdoor lighting in Tokyo.

Thus, a print like this was probably popular as a representation of how the emperor was helping reshape the capital city. This image carries the name "Yoshu Chikanobu" but lacks the subtle rendering of his usual work. A similar composition dated Meiji 25 (1892) and printed by a different publisher has the name of "Yosai Nobukazu," one of Chikanobu's pupils, and thus the Scripps work may have been designed by Nobukazu while a member of Chikanobu's production studio. Significant differences suggest that this design is slightly earlier than the 1892 print.

Purchased by Bruce Coats from Auction Ukiyo-e in London in August 2004, using Aoki funds.

Takegawa Unokichi

Keywords Click a term to view the records with the same keyword
This object has the following keywords:

Additional Images Click an image to view a larger version

Portfolio List Click a portfolio name to view all the objects in that portfolio
This object is a member of the following portfolios:

Your current search criteria is: Portfolio is "Royalty and Rulers" and [Objects]Period is "Meiji (Japan, 1869-1912)".